my classroom.

While I’m busy making plans for my FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL, I wanted to take a break and share a few photos of my classroom. I’ve still got some work to do… and maybe even some rearranging… but I’ve been having fun making it my own.


A sweet friend of mine made this gorgeous door hanger! You can have one too. 🙂 AbbyChicCo


These are the positive classroom norms from Jo Boaler.


The standards for mathematical practice.

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My “happy wall” behind my desk.

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Y’all are awesome banner —  a spot for displaying student work & other fun stuff.

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Word wall — hoping to add to it as the year goes on. Also, I used the number line that Sarah linked to on her blog Math = Love. (PLus she has a vertical one too!) Super easy to print out and hang up!

Horizontal Number Line. 

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The view as you walk in the door… My back corner looks a little cluttered, so I want to work on that.  But otherwise, I’m pretty happy with it. 🙂

(I need to take another picture from the back of the room. I’ll try to add that next week!)


I’m official. I have a name tag.

It’s the little things in life. It really is. Who knew that a little plastic name tag with an incredibly grainy photo could be so exciting?!

It says, “Math Teacher”. So I guess that’s what I am. It’s official.

I. Am. A. Math. Teacher.


I just finished my first day of new teacher orientation and can I confess something to you really quick? I’m one of those nerdy people who likes meetings.

I know… 


We are super annoying.


Regardless, today was really fun. I loved being around some fellow bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, naive, stars-in-our-eyes, brand spankin’ new teachers. It just felt right. And made me feel less uncool (double negative?) for being so excited about this new endeavor.

And yes, we talked about lots of overwhelming paperworky details that kind of made my want to stick a needle in my eye, but overall I’m feeling good.

I’m thrilled to have this opportunity. So fortunate to work with people who really care about the students. Blessed to get paid to do something that matters. Something I love. And I’m pumped it’s FINALLY time to get started and see all that this year holds.


You know that feeling you get when your click-click-clicking up a roller coaster at the very beginning? Right before you’re about to take off? You’re kind of scared. Definitely excited. You’ve got some butterflies, for sure. But still you can’t seem to wipe the smile off of your face?

That’s the way I feel right now.

I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a wild, humbling, crazy beautiful ride.

Until next time, math nerds. 


I’m participating in #MTBoSBlaugust this year, and it’s pretty awesome. I’m hoping to blog at least twice per week during the month of August, and hopefully document some of the ins and outs of my very first month of my very first year. It’s exciting stuff, people. And thanks SO MUCH to all the kind teachers of the #MTBoS who have been so encouraging and helpful as I prepare for this adventure.




first day fun.



I’ve been thinking A LOT about my first first day of school–and thanks to the trusty interwebs I’ve found tons of great ideas. Dan Meyer really came to the rescue and put the word out for me. (How cool is that?!).

So, after doing a significant about of internet exploring/stalking, these are some of the ideas I’m going to try to incorporate into my first day.


As they come in…

Math is like ____ from @MrOrr_geek. I love this idea. I want to encourage my students to get creative and also get a read on their mindsets about math. I’m thinking I’ll give them bright colored sticky notes and then display them on a poster or something.

This makes me laugh.

Next up…

Who I Am from @ddmeyerI may tweak this sheet a little bit, but I love the idea of letting my students tell me about themselves. Some teachers suggested keeping them and handing them back at the end of the year to see how much the students have changed. That sounds like fun!


Now let’s DO SOME MATH. 

Handshake-NetworkSupreme Court Handshake from @NCTMIllumI love this problem. There are so many different ways to attack it! I think it will be a great opportunity for the students to begin problem solving in groups and maybe talk about the Standards for Mathematical Practice.  I’m even thinking about having them act it out… depending on time.


Classroom Expectations. 

I copied @mathycathy (she has tons of great ideas here) and created a video with VideoScribe using their free 7-day trial. I’m not quite sure when I want to show it… but I do like that the video makes it kind of fun.


Exit Slip.

I want them to write me a note. I’m going to give them an index card and tell them they can use it to tell me anything they want. I’m hoping this will give students to open up, if they need/want to. Should I be more specific with the prompt??


Other Good Stuff.

I also really liked this. Talking Points & Math Mindset from @MathMinds. 

And this. First Day with Make it Stick, Plickers, & Jo Boaler from @jreulbach(I’m thinking I might have them read the Make it Stick for homework and then discuss it first thing on day 2. I can hear them already. “Reading? In Math??” I know. Lock me up.)


Things I’m not sure about. 

Timing. We’re on block schedule, so I’ll have about 90 minutes. I’m not sure what all I will have time for, but I’m going to have some backup ideas planned in case things go faster than I think.

Talking about group roles. This is super important, but I’m not sure if I’ll have time to address that day 1. Is that a bad thing? No idea. I’m thinking we could talk about it on day 2 after they spent some time working in groups on day 1. We shall see…

Exit slip prompt. Should I be more specific? I want to give the students freedom to say ANYTHING, but I’m afraid if I’m too vague they’ll say NOTHING. Thoughts?



My first day is August 8th. SO SOOON! When’s yours? What are you planning on doing?? I’d love to know. 

Hoping, dreaming, & planning for year 1.


People! I have a job. And a classroom. And students who will be my responsibility this year. (What??!!) My world is about to look completely different in just a few short weeks.

It almost doesn’t feel real. I’m pinching myself on the regular.

But I’m excited. And I’ve been thinking A LOT about this upcoming year, and wanted to share some things that are on my heart and on my mind.

  • More than anything, I want my students to know that I care about them.
  • I want to care less about making a name for myself, and more about making a future for my students.
  • I want to steer clear of the Negative Nancys. Negative attitudes are super contagious, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • I want to take time to reflect. I’m not sure if I’ll do this weekly or biweekly, but I know that I will need to take time to think about how things are going and how I could improve. I don’t want to get so busy that I forget to think.
  • I don’t want to take myself too seriously. Yes, I’ll probably make a fool of myself from time to time. But I’ll live.
  • I want to stay true to myself. I’ve heard it said that, “teachers are pleasers”, and I’m definitely a pleaser. BUT — I don’t want to be afraid to gently rock the boat and stick to what I believe in.
  • I want to work hard and stay organized. Pretty vague, I know. But I’m hoping these things will take more shape as I get started.
  • I don’t want to be afraid to ask for help. I want to model for my students that asking question is a sign of strength, not weakness.
  • I want to remember to give myself grace. I’ve got big dreams and plans, but I’m not naive enough to think that this year isn’t going to be really hard at times. I want to remember that I’m new and I’m learning, and I’m going to make mistakes.
  • And I want to have fun. Life is way too short to not smile, laugh, and get a little crazy sometimes.




in the home stretch


Death_to_stock_photography_Vibrant (9 of 10)It’s finally here — my last semester of graduate school.

I decided when I was 25 that I wanted to go back to school to be a math teacher — so I did it. It’s taken me awhile, and there have been a few rough patches, but now I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Auburn has been so good to me.  I’ve enjoyed my education and experiences more than I can say. I’ve met great people, had wonderful professors, learned a ton, and worked as a graduate assistant which was such a blessing.

But now, after just a few more months, I’ll be leaving the safe, little world at the Haley Center behind and entering into the great unknown — my. own. classroom.

I’m excited — a little scared — but mostly just excited.

This is what I’ve been preparing for. This is what I’ve been reading about, talking about, and writing about for the past 4 years. And now I’m ready.

Or… at least as ready as I can be.

The truth is, I know that I still have A TON to learn. I always will. The best teachers are always learning, right?

But I know one thing for sure — teaching is such a privilege. 

I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to go back to school to pursue this career. A career where I can make a difference in students’ lives, prepare them for a meaningful future, and have some fun while doing it.

So kids, wherever you are, just get ready. This math nerd is coming for ya! 🙂


Chapter 0

Hey there.  I’m a girl (who loves graphs & glasses) and I’m studying to be a math teacher.  My goal here is to create a space where I can share what I’m learning, the challenges I encounter, and document my experiences.  If you’re a math nerd like me, or just interested in education – I hope you’ll follow along on my journey!